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When to revise your estate plan

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | Estate Planning

Many Florida residents engage in estate planning to prepare for the future. Knowing when to update your estate plan documents is important as certain situations make it necessary.

You’ve gotten married or divorced

Estate planning documents need revisions whenever you have a change in marital status. If you get married, you’ll want to add your new spouse’s name to documents such as your will and trust to leave property and assets to them. You may also want to name them as your financial and healthcare power of attorney so they can make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to due to incapacity.

If you get a divorce, you’ll want to remove your former spouse from those documents.

Issues arise with a beneficiary

Unfortunately, things happen in life that may be unforeseen. One of your beneficiaries could pass away unexpectedly. If this happens, you will want to make changes to your estate planning documents. You can also name an alternate beneficiary who could receive the property and assets you wish to leave your first choice as a just-in-case.

Sometimes, a beneficiary you’ve named might decide they don’t want to inherit anything from you. This could happen for any number of reasons.

You have a new child

Having a new child means that you should add them to your estate planning documents. Whether that child is by birth, adoption or even a stepchild through a new marriage, you will want to ensure they are taken care of by leaving them an inheritance.

While your child is a minor, you will want to update your will to designate a legal guardian for them in the event of your death. Forgetting to take this step might mean that the court will appoint someone to act as their guardian depending on the circumstances.

Tax implications

You might want to update estate planning documents such as trusts if there are potential tax implications. You can add assets to a trust to hold and protect them if you plan on passing them down to beneficiaries. These assets are owned by the trust and thus are generally not considered part of your estate for estate tax purposes.